Imperial Jade – On The Rise

Imperial Jade - On The Rise Cover

Imperial Jade – On The Rise
Epictronic
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 44:37
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Imperial Jade are five young friends who also happen to be rock and roll lovers from Maresme province in Barcelona. The band was born in 2012 by Francesc Lopez (drums), Alex Panero (guitar), Arau Ventura (vocals), Hugo Nubiola (guitar/keyboard) and Ricardo Turro (bass) with a sound that can be described as 70’s rock with a hint of country rock and a twist of groove rock.

In 2015, the band released their first record “Please Welcome Imperial Jade” which hit several lists of best releases of the year. Throughout 2016 Imperial Jade toured throughout Spain with the album, performing gigs all booked by themselves, they opened for Californian band Rival Sons in Barcelona and for Swedish band EUROPE at two concerts given in Madrid and Barcelona, among other great bands like Ten Years After or Michael Monroe.

In 2017, the band recorded two new singles on analogue tape at Music Lan Studios which was then mixed in Nashville USA by the sound engineer John Netti (Rival Sons, Europe, Black Stone Cherry, Bon Jovi) and mastered at The Room Studios by Gorka Dresbaj. Throughout the year the band played different venues and gigs and appeared live on television for the first time at Los Concierto’s de Radio 3 of RTVE (Spanish TV channel) while also playing the main stage of Rock Fest BCN, sharing with bands like Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Airbourne and Alice Cooper.

With crystal clear vocals, this album is rocky, bluesy, enchanting but with a real edge to it and even a hint of country groove with ‘Sad For No Reason’. With a foot tapping beat, it’s a fun song which shouldn’t work but does and then you have ‘Dance’ which is much rockier.

‘The Call’ is yet another completely different track which starts very psychedelic, yet the harmonies take you back to rock so there’s no telling what you will get next! They, almost, want to keep you on your toes and just when you think you have got the album sussed; it turns in a completely different direction again.

These guys have a soulful yet passionate persona about them. There is so much feeling in the album, with epic guitar riffs, changes of pace, and changes of direction it’s almost like they have layered everything and you must get through all the layers to get to the end of the album. And just as you think you understand it; you get the upbeat and rock n roll guitars of ‘Heatwave’ and if you aren’t dancing around to this track then I will be surprised. It’s an epic song for summer days blasting out of the car.

Imperial Jade certainly give you value for money with so many epic songs covering so many different genres all on one album. This is definitely not your usual run of the mill band, which is very refreshing. It’s rock but light and a pleasure to keep listening too. It’s edgy, gritty, enchanting yet strong without being overpowering.

TRACKLISTING:
1- You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
2 -Dance
3- Sad For No Reason
4-The Call
5-Glory Train
6-Lullaby In Blue
7-Keep Me Singing
8-Heat Wave
9-Rough Seas
10-Struck By Lightening

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/ImperialJadeRock/

https://www.instagram.com/imperialjaderock/
https://imperialjade.bandcamp.com/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Rebecca Downes – The Met Lounge, Peterborough – 29/03/2019

01 Rebecca Downes

Rebecca Downes
The Met Lounge, Peterborough
29/03/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Many bands have turned to acoustic sets in the past but very few as well as the Quireboys, a band with the charisma and material to make it really work for them. When this is perfectly teamed with an opening slot by the brilliant Rebecca Downes it proves to be an evening when all you can do is be swept away by the music.

Having toured regularly up and down the length and breadth of the country with her full band playing support to bands such as Magnum, tonight sees her shorn of her full band but joined by partner in crime guitarist and vocalist Steve Birkett. The duo fill the sound with ease and you can’t help but warm instantly to Downes, her great humour and down to earth personality shine, displaying not a shred of over inflated ego. ‘Take Me Higher’ is an excellent showcase for her soulful vocals and really got the attention of all there. As has been proven many times before, huge talent isn’t always enough but needs to be matched with great quality material to really highlight the artist. The songwriting team of Downes and Birkett have that by the bucketload. Next song ‘It’s Not Easy’ is a prime example of this as it twists and turns in unexpected directions whilst the stripped-down acoustic arrangement really lets the vocals shine.

Refreshingly, Birkett doesn’t just play second fiddle to the singer as the two are evenly matched in musical chops and it comes over as a perfect partnership. There is a genuine warmth exuding from them and when showcased in such great fare as the sparkling ‘Waving Goodbye’ it’s pretty unbeatable. The richness of the voices glides perfectly over a hooky chorus, as the track has a classic, almost pop, soulful tone. It would have been difficult to follow that gem but the Radio 2 playlisted ‘Sailing on a Pool of Tears’ ups the ante even more. A big, spellbinding ballad, it contains elements of chilled flamenco and is both instantly catchy and heartrending.

The pace changes with ‘1000 Years’, an upbeat blues number with a truly cocky strut that easily dispels the narrow view that the blues is solely downbeat tales of suffering. The short set finishes with the title track from last album ‘Believe’, another forceful wake up call that is both defiant and life affirming. Featuring an acoustic breakdown, its sense of dynamics proving it was the perfect number to finish on. Returning later for an incendiary duet with Spike for the Quireboys encore, Downes was the ideal choice as touring companion for these dates and was clearly having a ball on the road with a band she’s long been an admirer of. With her expressive Midlands accent she doesn’t sound like one of the Windsors in conversation but, make no mistake, when she sings Rebecca Downes is UK Blues royalty. If you want to know the roots of hard rock and metal, get yourself into the blues. You really can’t go wrong with the lethal combination that this partnership offers of filthy barroom rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Catch them when you can.

LINKS:
https://www.rebeccadownes.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaDownes/

https://www.instagram.com/rebeccadownesuk/

 

02 Poster 2019

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

The Quireboys – Amazing Disgrace

Amazing Disgrace Cover

The Quireboys – Amazing Disgrace
Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 05/04/2019
Running Time: 46:25
Review by Paul Monkhouse
Rating: 10/10

The Quireboys aren’t strangers to the knocks and scrapes of rock ‘n’ roll but it’s been an unbelievably long, hard road to get this album out due to the ongoing issues with Pledge Music, initially the chosen platform for this release. Thankfully you can’t keep a good band down and due to the immense hard work by the band, their team and the fans this has now come out and stands as a testament to their street fighting spirit. Driven by a passion to stretch themselves, “Amazing Disgrace” shows a band that’s both fearless and incredibly fresh, highlighting their undoubted flair for writing great and timeless songs.

From the opening notes of ‘Original Black-Eyed Son’, this is something really special. The song wastes no time in getting into a great riff and it just keeps on growing with some superb keys, Stax-like brass and female backing vocals adding to a fantastic, dirty rock ‘n’ roll barroom number that has both grit and polish. Really setting their stall out, you know that just two minutes into this that it’s an album The Quireboys can be proud of. Whilst the band can really rock out when they want to, as anyone who’s seen their electrifying live shows can attest, this release broadens their palette and adds some real colour but doesn’t sacrifice any of their fire. Next track ‘Sinner’s Serenade’ perfectly highlights this with it’s powerful, big start and yet more layers of sound as it really drives along, propelled by some teeth rattling drums and some superb slide guitar at the end.

Already a firm live favourite, ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ has a funky strut and the peerless guitar work of Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin as they show off the sonic swagger that has a real stake in proving their confidence whilst not being too flash. This is also echoed in the titular ‘Amazing Disgrace’ that boasts a real late 60’s / early 70’s vibe as Spikes distinctive vocals dances throughout and the track ends by morphing into Southern Hard Rock. Yet another bold change of pace comes with ‘Eve of the Summertime’, a beautifully crafted ballad, that is ice cream sweet and sparkles with sunshine whilst retaining an edge. Very evocative of that season, you could hear it any time of the year and immediately be transported to those hazy, lazy days where life just consisted of sitting on a beach, drinking beer with your friends.

‘California Blues’ picks up the pace again and is a perfect reminder of why the band was chosen to support Guns ‘n’ Roses and the Stones. This would be the perfect soundtrack to cruising along Sunset Strip and you can clearly picture the band whipping up the crowds at the Whisky in downtown L.A. ‘This Is It’ brings an almost country feel and expands on the great storytelling that Spike and Co excel at. Boasting some more very fine keys from Keith Weir, this also benefits from some excellent fiddle playing and if you wince at the mere mention of that instrument then this track will surely convert you. ‘Feels Like A Long time’ brings back a Rolling Stones feel and is tailor made for playing at massive stadiums to a sea of people, waving arms held aloft in appreciation of its grandeur.

Yet more swagger and stomp form the brilliant ‘Slave Number One’, its chugging riff building into a juggernaut that shows that you don’t need to be full-on to be heavy. ‘Dancing in Paris’ is another great ballad, its fragile and tender vocals matched perfectly to the tasteful and tasty guitar work. The album closes with a bang as ‘Medusa My Girl’ boils out of the speakers. Incredibly powerful, this is a maelstrom of instruments that warn of a coming storm that continues to get darker as Spikes howls through the wind and rain. With a real Celtic feel, the Quireboys have chosen the perfect track to end the album and yet again show why they are one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands this country has ever produced. The Quireboys may, at times, have been heavier than this release but they have never been better. As they say themselves: “This is Rock ‘n’ Roll”. One of the most vital albums of the year, you need ‘Amazing Disgrace’ in your collection.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Original Black Eyes Son
02. Sinners Serenade
03. Saven Deadly Sins
04. Amazing Disgrace
05. Eve Of The Summertime
06. California Blues
07. This Is It
08 Feels Like A Long Time
09. Slave #1
10. Dancing In Paris
11. Medusa My Girl

LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/quireboys/

https://www.instagram.com/thequireboys/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.